Sharon Burdette

Sharon Burdette is a student in the Master of Arts – Integrated Studies program at Athabasca University, with a focus on Adult Education. Sharon currently lives outside of Toronto with her family and works in Learning and Development.

Caught on Camera

Snapshot of a family

Velour couch, panelled room

Handsome father, loving mother, two girls and two baby boys

What a perfect family, you say

But you don’t know

They should be posing for the camera

A happy, smiling, loving group

Take a moment, stop, look closer,

Caught on camera a moment too soon

Taken off guard

Beyond the façade

A glimpse of real life

Behind that perfect image

Hints at another story

Can you see?

He sits tall, looks straight at the camera

Hand raised, finger pointing, directing the photographer

This is how I want things, he says

Look closer at the mother

What do you see?

Sitting beside him, not touching, shoulders tight

Leaning away as he speaks, eyes shoot daggers at his face

Look at the girls

Do you see?

One on each side, watching their father, hearing his orders

Angry expressions on such young faces

What have they seen?

Don’t forget the little ones, where are they?

Cute baby boys, sitting on laps

The smallest with mother, the other with sister

Sweet angel faces

Look closer one last time

See how they’re held, protected, shielded

Small and innocent, watching the photographer

Too young to understand, but wait —

Where are the baby grins, the dimples?

Young eyes so large and watchful, taking it all in

Snapshot of a family

Caught a moment too soon